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'Monstrosity's' Wit Twists Myth of Frankenstein


If Hell is other people, as Jean-Paul Sartre suggested, then a psyche fractured into separate personalities must surely represent a fiendishly refined version of damnation. That's the predicament facing six characters in search of an identity in Christopher Kelley's witty, smart, and--for all its dark overtones--surprisingly fun "Monstrosity" at Theatre of NOTE.

In an unlikely collision of Sartre and Mary Shelley, a Frankenstein "monstrosity" (Daniel Mailley) forces his way into a room where quirky misfits have sought refuge from the unseen but terror-inducing mob of collective mentality.

Mailley's monster is articulate and sympathetic despite his gaunt, haggard features. Recognizing a fellow outcast, the others accept him.

The characters represent fragments of a complete human being. A poet (Frank Crim) and a cleric (Kiff Scholl) form a duo reminiscent of Beckett's existential vagrants. Science is personified in the monster's creator (David Bickford), while a sultry superstar (Lisa Anne Morrison) embodies love.

Though the entire cast is lively and engaging, Rebecca Gray astonishes with abrupt emotional pivots, complementing abstract dialogue with a riot of feeling.

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Saturday September 9, 2000 Home Edition Calendar Part F Page 2 Entertainment Desk 1 inches; 34 words Type of Material: Correction
Theater review--A review of "Monstrosity" in Thursday's Calendar Weekend incorrectly reported the name of an actor. Understudy Donald Agnelli, whose name was not announced in the theater notes, played the monster on the night of the review.

Kelly's edgy staging keeps any pretensions at bay in this edgy metaphor about the need to be "moved by something monstrous to join something deeper."


"Monstrosity," Theatre of NOTE, 1517 Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood. Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 4 p.m. Ends Sept. 30. $12-$15. (323) 856-8611. Running time: 1 hour, 5 minutes.

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